2013 NBA Mock Draft: Best Available Picks for Each Franchise
As teams start to focus more on the offseason, the NBA draft is beginning to take shape. Of course, a lot can change before the event on June 27.
The recent scouting combine gave teams accurate measurements for every prospect, even if the top players did not perform in drills. Still, there was certainly movement among big boards across the league.
In addition, the lottery is certain to make a huge impact for where players land in the top half of the first round.
Still, here is a look at where each player should be selected based on current information.
1. Orlando Magic: Ben McLemore, SG, Kansas
The Magic need more than just a great player to help the team on the court, they need someone to take over the game and be a star.
Ben McLemore is the best scorer in the class as someone who can get his points in a number of different ways, either near the basket or from outside. He could quickly become the go-to player on this young team that struggled to get points throughout the year.
With the team already having a solid group of frontcourt players that will be around for a while, McLemore would be the perfect addition if the team has the first pick of the draft.
2. Charlotte Bobcats: Nerlens Noel, C, Kentucky
Nerlens Noel has as much potential as anyone in the draft. His shot-blocking ability will keep him on the court regardless of what he does offensively.
However, he will need to put on some weight if he wants to remain a center at the next level.
3. Cleveland Cavaliers: Otto Porter, SF, Georgetown
Cleveland still needs to add starters for the future, but small forward is clearly the biggest position of need heading forward. However, the team does not need someone to stop the ball on possessions and take over the game.
This makes Otto Porter the perfect fit as an unselfish player who will fill up the stat sheet in every game. The wing is also a strong defender who will help the Cavaliers do whatever it takes to improve in the standings.
4. Phoenix Suns: Victor Oladipo, SG, Indiana
The Suns have few positions of certainty, so they need a safe pick that will be around for a long time. Victor Oladipo is one of the biggest sure-things in the class as an elite on-ball defender who can make open shots from deep.
Additionally, the guard continues to improve on the offensive end, and he could certainly be one of the best players on a contending team in the future.
5. New Orleans Pelicans: Shabazz Muhammad, SF, UCLA
While Shabazz Muhammad's lack of height and weak rebounding ability might force the player to become more of a shooting guard at the next level, his ability to get points is not up for debate.
After getting a strong defensive presence in Anthony Davis last year, the Pelicans must add a better scorer to give Eric Gordon some relief when he is on the court. Muhammad will get a lot of playing time early in his career and will help New Orleans a lot right away.
6. Sacramento Kings: Anthony Bennett, PF, UNLV
With DeMarcus Cousins patrolling the middle of the court, Anthony Bennett would be a perfect complement as a big man who can spread the floor and open things up inside.
Although the UNLV star is a bit undersized for the position, his toughness and athleticism will allow him to stick at power forward.
7. Detroit Pistons: Trey Burke, PG, Michigan
Nick Baumgardner of MLive.com reported that the Pistons were one of the few lottery teams not to request an interview with Trey Burke:
Trey Burke doesn't have any interviews scheduled with the Pistons this week -- said he was surprised.— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) May 16, 2013
However, teams often like to disguise their picks, so do not be surprised if this is just a smokescreen on behalf of Detroit.
In reality, this spot makes too much sense not to happen. The Pistons can get a local player who starred at Michigan and was the best player in the country as a sophomore last season.
Burke would play well with Brandon Knight in the backcourt and he would make everyone on the court better right away.
8. Washington Wizards: Alex Len, C, Maryland
Most players who are described as "raw" are athletic without much technique. Alex Len has plenty of technique to score with either his back to the basket or with a face-up jumper, but he is rarely able to put it all together.
Still, the fact that he is this advanced at a young age is very encouraging for any team. The Wizards should grab him and watch him pair with John Wall to create one of the better young tandems in the league.
9. Minnesota Timberwolves: C.J. McCollum, SG, Lehigh
Minnesota has a lot of role players on the roster, but few guys are willing to take over as go-to scorers. C.J. McCollum has that mentality and the ability to be successful at the next level.
Although the Lehigh star ran the offense in college, he is better suited as a 2-guard who can create his own shot and drain threes when given the chance.
10. Portland Trail Blazers: Cody Zeller, C, Indiana
Few players had a more impressive athletic display at the combine than Cody Zeller. Mark Alesia of the Indianapolis Star reports that the Indiana player dominated his competition on the vertical jump:
Cody Zeller finishes first among 10 centers in standing vertical at 35.5, five inches better than Mason Plumlee. #iubb— Mark Alesia (@markalesia) May 17, 2013
Zeller also has great fluidity when he runs that allows him to keep up with guards on fast breaks and it will help him stick around for a long time in the NBA. With Portland, he will help out early at center, even if he does not start right away.
11. Philadelphia 76ers: Mason Plumlee, C, Duke
Mason Plumlee is a very athletic center who knows how to score around the basket as well as anyone in the class. The 76ers got very little production inside last season, and the Duke star could be an offensive threat in his rookie year.
12. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Toronto Raptors): Kelly Olynyk, C, Gonzaga
Oklahoma City needs depth in the frontcourt, but not everyone would fit in with this system. The team needs a player with size who can also run the floor well. Someone that can hit an outside shot would also help.
Amazingly, Kelly Olynyk is all of those things and would be a great addition to help the Thunder contend for a title.
13. Dallas Mavericks: Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Syracuse
For the first time in over a decade, the Mavericks missed the postseason. While there were a lot of issues, a lack of a consistent point guard might have been the biggest problem.
Dallas failed to get Deron Williams last season, and it would be a big surprise if it could get Chris Paul this year. Instead, the team should look to the draft to get a top-level point guard of the future.
After Burke, Michael Carter-Williams is the best player available at the position as someone who can help right away on both ends of the court. He is a pass-first guard who will get the most out of all of his veteran teammates.
His size at 6'6" will also be a huge problem on the defensive end as the Mavs look to bounce back after a disappointing season.
14. Utah Jazz: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG, Georgia
While there are some talented players inside that could take a big step next season, Utah's backcourt needs a lot of help.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope struggled with consistency at Georgia, but he is an athletic player that can shoot. These skills translate well to the NBA and he could end up being an above-average guard at the next level.
15. Milwaukee Bucks: Dario Saric, SF, Croatia
It seems at this point that Dario Saric is working more on legend than anything else. He did not participate in the scouting combine, and he is unlikely to participate in any team workouts in the United States.
Still, the youngster has a lot of pure skill as a ball-handler and a passer that can make him a great asset to any team. The question is simply if the pick is worth the risk.
16. Boston Celtics: Giannis Antetokoumpo, SF, Greece
According to basketball analyst Chris Sheridan, Danny Ainge and the Celtics have been scouting Giannis Antetokoumpo since the beginning of April, and for good reason. The Greek forward is a freak athlete with good length and a large skill set.
The problem is that he faced weak competition this year and is likely a few years away from contributing. Fortunately, the Celtics have time to wait as they look to rebuild for the future.
17. Atlanta Hawks: Rudy Gobert, PF, France
Rudy Gobert's measurements at the scouting combine were simply shocking. He is not only over 7'0" tall, but he had a ridiculous wingspan of 7'8.5".
While the French player still has plenty of room to improve, his length and athleticism alone will take him a long way in this league. He can give the Hawks some much-needed size up front and continue to improve in the next few years.
18. Atlanta Hawks (from Houston Rockets): Jamaal Franklin, SG, San Diego State
If Jamaal Franklin was a better shooter, he would likely be selected in the lottery. He is a good scorer with athleticism who also rebounds much better than his size would indicate.
Unfortunately, he is not a good shooter and made only 28 percent of shots from behind the arc this past season.
Still, he knows how to contribute in other ways and has a high-enough basketball IQ to not allow this to hinder him on the court. At the next level, he will continue to be a strong slasher who can finish around the basket.
After Atlanta picks a riskier player in Gobert with the first pick, the team would be smart to make a safe selection like Franklin.
19. Cleveland Cavaliers (from Los Angeles Lakers): Gorgui Dieng, C, Louisville
If the Cavaliers select Otto Porter with the first pick, they should look for a big man with the second selection in the first round.
Gorgui Dieng could provide the team with immediate help as an above-average interior defender while also improving on the offensive end. The fact that he is already 23 years old is a downside, but there is still room for the center to grow.
20. Chicago Bulls: Allen Crabbe, SG, California
One positive to come from the injury-filled postseason for the Bulls is that they now know that Jimmy Butler can be a huge part of the future. However, they can still use depth in the backcourt heading into next season.
Allen Crabbe is one of the better shooters in the class and will help the squad contend with the Miami Heat and others in the Eastern Conference.
21. Utah Jazz (from Golden State Warriors): Dennis Schroeder, PG, Germany
While Mo Williams had a solid year as the starting point guard in Utah when he was healthy, he is clearly not the long-term solution at the position.
Dennis Schroeder will give the team a fresh start and possibly take over the starting job for a long time. He has proved the skills in workouts, the only question is how well this will translate to NBA games.
22. Brooklyn Nets: Jeff Withey, C, Kansas
Jeff Withey might not have a ton of upside, but you know what you are going to get with him. He is one of the best shot-blockers in the class and has the size to be a good defensive center if given the opportunity.
Brooklyn needs depth in the frontcourt and would do well by adding an impact player like Withey near the end of the first round.
23. Indiana Pacers: Tony Mitchell, SF, North Texas
Tony Mitchell has the pure basketball skill to make him a great prospect. The problem is that he had a terrible season before declaring for the draft, which is usually not a smart move for a young player.
Still, Indiana could grab the athlete and hope that he blossoms into a complete player. If not, there is still plenty of depth on the roster to contend for a long time.
24. New York Knicks: Steven Adams, C, Pittsburgh
The Knicks could use a frontcourt player that can make an impact immediately and enter the rotation next season. Based on what Steven Adams showed in his only year in Pittsburgh, he does not fit this description.
Still, the center had a strong showing at the combine, where he displayed the athleticism and agility that made him such a highly regarded prospect entering college.
While he might not be a threat on the offensive end just yet, the defensive skill is there for him to play quality minutes for the contending team. Down the line, he could end up being a better all-around player who can really help the Knicks.
25. Los Angeles Clippers: Sergey Karasev, SG, Russia
Unlike many of the other international players in this draft, Sergey Karasev has the ability to contribute to a team immediately. He is an excellent shooter that will help the Clippers spread the defense and create more room for the talented young players down low.
26. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Memphis Grizzlies): Glen Rice Jr., SF, Rio Grande Valley
Grabbing a guy coming from the D-League is also a risky proposition. Glen Rice Jr. was kicked off the team at Georgia Tech and ended up having a big year for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
Minnesota could afford to give the small forward a chance and hope that he can become somewhere close to as good as his father was in the NBA.
27. Denver Nuggets: Tim Hardaway Jr., SG, Michigan
On the topic of famous sons, Tim Hardaway Jr. is also looking to replicate his father's NBA career. While he does not have the handle or quickness, the Michigan star does have a great deal of athleticism.
Hardaway is also an excellent shooter, and he can become yet another weapon on a team that is already loaded on the offensive end.
28. San Antonio Spurs: Archie Goodwin, SG, Kentucky
If there is one thing the Spurs lack, it is quickness. The aging roster has few guys that can beat their man in a one-on-one matchup and get into the lane.
Archie Goodwin had an up-and-down year with Kentucky, but he has a lot of pure skill and could really help San Antonio down the line.
29. Oklahoma City Thunder: Shane Larkin, PG, Miami
While the Thunder were very good offensively this season, the team lacked a true point guard with a pass-first approach. This caused problems when Russell Westbrook went down and only Kevin Durant could create his own shot.
Shane Larkin has proved the ability to create for others and it will give the team a lot more depth when the starting point guard is forced to come off the court.
30. Phoenix Suns (from Miami Heat): Deshaun Thomas, SF, Ohio State
With one of the worst offenses in the league last season, Phoenix needs to add anyone that can score consistently. Deshaun Thomas has his limitations, but he is a volume scorer that can put up points when given the opportunity.
At this stage of the first round, the Ohio State player is the best option to fill the Suns' needs.
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